2nd April 2015
Review by Ann Sulaiman
Photographs by Graham Hilling
Martial Industrial maestros Laibach played to a full house on the London date of their European tour.
With an audience that ranged from young to old, goths to emos (and the inevitable number of hipsters), it was interesting to note the far reach of their legacy. At the same time, it wouldn’t have hurt to have seen some light dancing from everyone, though it was just as likely down to new album “Spectre” having more subdued material.
The experimental and “arty” direction of this record meant that a more restrained performance was in order, which Laibach delivered for most of the show. However, in this instance, it also made for a mainly dull live show up until the intermission.
Part of the issue came from “Spectre”s dreamlike synth, which floated through each song with little or no spark of musical activity to counteract it.
Another was the decision to hold back the album’s energetic fare until the gig’s second half; frontman Eber delivered his usual, wonderfully gruff monotone, yet cohort Mina Špiler seemed like she had to stay in his shadow by only doing background vocals.
Seeing as how her voice suggested a range from delicate soprano to the sass of soul during this half of the show, it left little of an impression this way on the crowd.
Thankfully, everything picked up after intermission when the more aggressive songs were played. In addition to electronic riffs and Eber’s voice taking on a harder edge, namely on ‘Ballad of A Thin Man’ and ‘B Mashina’; Špiler had a chance to shine when she performed solo on ‘Eat Liver!’
Even though the new album was the focus of Laibach’s concert at The Electric Ballroom, many still associate them with the harsher, catchier songs of their earlier years, ‘Geburt Einer Nation’, ‘Tanz Mit Mir’ and ‘Leben Heisst Leben’.
For readers at home, this reporter is happy to say that these three were performed by the end, with much enthusiasm and vigorous dancing by the audience.
Olav Trygvason poem
Walk With Me
Resistance Is Futile
Each Man Kills
We Are Millions
Ballad of A Thin Man
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
Geburt Einer Nation
Tanz Mit Mir
Leben Heisst Leben